Future Cars: 2018 Volvo XC40 Compact SUV is One Sweet Swede

It’s hard to argue with Volvo’s progress into luxury territory in recent times, as the brand has gone from strength to strength with its latest models like S90, XC60 and XC90.

The product offensive doesn’t stop here either, as the Swedish carmaker plans to offer an even smaller SUV called the XC40, so let’s take an unofficial, illustrated first look at the compact crossover that will rival the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Scandinavian Flair:

The XC40 adds a bit of funk to Volvo’s recent design language. Heavily inspired by the XC40 Concept that debuted last year, it has stubby, upright proportions, a broad corporate grille and ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlight theme.

Sheetmetal surfacing is hard-edged, sculptured and modern. Perhaps the most striking aspects are the up-kink near the c-pillar, deeply scolloped lower doors, subtle rear spoiler and contrasting black roof.

Premium Accommodation:

Slotting under the XC60 in terms of size, there’s also familiarity when it comes to interior styling. Cue a portrait-style tablet infotainment touchscreen, S-shaped door panels, premium materials and lots of cowhide trim.

Being based on Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), it’ll offer plenty of space and top-shelf safety. The latter is expected to reach new heights with a refined version of Volvo’s automated Drive Pilot, which allows for self-steering and breaking.

Potent Powertrains:

The XC40 will feature a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder called the T5. This Twin-Engine, petrol-electric hybrid uses similar tech from the Drive-E unit found in the larger XC90. Paired with a 7-speed, dual clutch transmission, it will make for quick gear changes and greater efficiency.

Speaking of efficiency, Volvo have previously stated that their first electric car will be CMA-based. This bodes well for the XC40, as packaging advantages of an SUV body should allow for a fully-electric powertrain.

Performance fans shouldn’t feel left out either, as it’s tipped that Polestar will turn up the heat, with a twin-turbo and supercharged 2.0-litre T6 variant.

Feisty Rivals:

On the back of booming SUV sales, the Swedish brand will have some fierce competition in the form of Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Jaguar’s upcoming E-Pace.

Look for an official reveal later this year, possibly as early as the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Does Volvo’s smallest crossover have the potential to become the brand’s biggest selling model? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

By Josh Byrnes

Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes

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  • Six Thousand Times

    I think you mean Chinese.

    • TheCerealTree

      Most of the work put into making current Volvo cars were in Sweden. Where it’s manufactured is mostly irrelevant as almost every single car manufacturer has factories all over the globe.

      • Six Thousand Times

        Can’t agree with you that the loss of manufacturing jobs to China is irrelevant.

        • TheCerealTree

          Volvo is actually creating more jobs as they’re opening another factory in South Carolina (like Socarboy said). Volvo isn’t closing their Gothenburg factory.

          • Six Thousand Times


      • Socarboy

        Yeah they are building a factory, now, in Berkeley County, South Carolina

    • Marty

      At least the “Chinese” Volvo is much more Swedish than the “American” Volvo (1999-2010) was.


  • pinjong
    • Six_Tymes

      like that a lot

    • Eduardo Palandi

      way better

    • Marty

      Also way less probable.
      That’s just a compressed V90 with too big wheels, and the “up-kink” is missing.

  • Obsequious Lickspittle

    There are only so many times you can try to reinvent the box.

  • kimbentsen

    Say “Sweet Swede” ten times in a row.

  • javier

    wow that is ugly

  • Gerald Michael

    The design completely falls apart from the B-pillar back, because where have we seen that design element before? Oh yeah, every-freakin’-where. And what’s with the big dent on the side?

  • nauticalone

    Volvo is turning out some beautiful vehicles these days and with top notch interior material quality! I might well buy the new XC60.

  • Socarboy

    It kinda looks like the Suzuki Ignis small crossover

  • This car is going to be at the top of the food chain for small SUV’s. it is likely to be 50K, slightly less than an E-Pace when loaded. The videos are now out as of this week and it’s beautiful. It’s high riding and upright like the Jag, with a full complement of options from self-park to autonomous everything. With Volvo seats and comfort, this is going to be one of the top three small urban SUV’s and, if they come first with a plug-in (please give us at least 40 miles) for this segment, it is going to outsell every other luxury small SUV… in the luxury class under 180 inches.